How has the electronic process affected applicants and reviewers?
In most cases, there were record-setting time and cost savings to both applicants and reviewers.
In the NASA SBIR case, where some applicants submit over 40 proposals per year, the electronic approach speeds ups and saves money on submissions. SBIR outside reviewers are now able to access proposal abstracts in 24 hours and the entire proposal only several days after the application deadline.
Jane Fox, SBIR program manager at Johnson Space Center in Houston, says she used to wait until the final deadline for contract reviews to find out if an evaluator was behind on his or her work. Now she can send reminders to employees who are falling behind. "At any point in time, I know where everyone is in the system," says Fox.
In the Department of Justice's BVP program, where some applicant jurisdictions have over ten law enforcement agencies, the electronic approach also speeds ups and saves money on submissions. The Department of Justice's reviewers are able to finalize approvals in just two days and electronic payments in five days.